From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: A few tricks to make Halloween a safe treat
By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.
For most children (and plenty of you, parents), Halloween is one of the most fun days of the year. However, you want to make sure your children stay safe while they’re out there trick-or-treating. Below are a few tips to make sure their night is a fun and healthy one.
Keep your children visible:
It’s important your children remain visible so drivers can see them. It’s a good idea for them to wear reflective tape on their costumes. They should also walk on the sidewalk and never step out from around parked cars, since it would be easy for cars to hit them.
It’s a good idea your children not wear masks that restrict their vision. It is helpful for them to also carry flashlights so they can see well in the dark.
Keep your children safe from allergies:
While candy can be a danger to children with allergies, it’s easy to keep them safe. You should inspect all your children’s candy by unwrapping it and reading the food labels before your children eat it. If you are unsure if your child is allergic to it, it’s best to not give it to your child. Because you cannot guarantee the safety or contents of homemade treats, it is best that your children do not eat them, either.
That said, there’s no guarantee that a candy won’t trigger an allergy. Sometimes people might not be aware of a food allergy or sensitivity. If you suspect your child is allergic, it is best to not let them eat the candy and have them tested for allergies as soon as possible.
There is also a chance that candy without allergens might have been produced in a factory with candy that was. It is always best you carry your children’s Epipens wherever they go, even trick-or-treating.
You should also educate your children about different types of candy and their ingredients.
“Show them pictures and review labels with them,” CEENTA Allergy Clinical Coordinator Clarisa Thomas, RN, BSN, said. “This will help to ensure their safety, especially when they are not in your presence.”
Keep your children’s eyes safe:
Halloween safety isn’t just trick-or-treating and candy related, either. You’ll want to make sure your children’s costumes are safe for their eyes. Specifically, costume contact lenses can be dangerous. Costume contact lenses can be too loose or tight if not fitted properly, and may cause injuries like corneal cuts or scrapes. Also, costume contact lenses are thicker and less permeable, which makes it harder for oxygen to pass through. Finally, costume contact lenses can increase the risk for developing keratitis, a painful bacterial infection that causes an ulcer on the eye, by more than 16 times compared to regular contact lenses, CEENTA Eye Ancillary Services Director Jay Russell said. Keratitis leads to permanent vision loss in 60 percent of cases.
If your children do wear costume contact lenses, make sure they come from retailers who require a prescription for purchase and who only sell FDA-approved contact lenses.
Even though Halloween is scary, you don’t want those scares to come from your child’s health. Following these steps can help keep their trick-or-treating fun.